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Meet Summer Schumacher of Broken Roller Hair Shop in Logan Square

Today we’d like to introduce you to Summer Schumacher.

Summer, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
It all started when I was 15 and worked as a receptionist at a small town salon in Wisconsin and I fell in love with the whole hair salon thing, not only the styling part of it all, but the people and the lifestyle. My parents made me go to college and I dropped out after 3 days, absolutely knowing where my path was to go. I immediately went to school and moved to Madison, apprenticed and worked there for 6 years until I moved here to Chicago. I landed a job at, which at the time, was the best most rock and roll salon in the city. I’m so glad I was lucky enough to work there and continue to hone my craft for 14 years. In that time, I met my now husband and business partner, Chris Lelko who was still in the music industry. Being an artist himself, and knowing it was time to get out of an extremely changed industry, he decided to attend cosmetology school and do hair himself. After a few years apprenticing, haircutting and styling himself, it seemed like the right step forward for both of us to start a salon that totally represents us as people and stylists. We each have our strong points that aided in the starting of our business as well as the everyday running of the business. And we are just so happy with it all.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It hasn’t been totally smooth, but also in hindsight, things kind of have settled. I have been thinking and trying to get ready for this for years, so all of that time and thinking and being very realistic has definitely helped every step of the way. The biggest struggles are usually getting past the mental hurdles, for sure. And giving up a sense of security. Its scary stuff and I think that’s what stops a lot of people from taking the next step, and then the next step. We also have had a lot of help from many people along the way. We wouldn’t be where we are without it.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Broken Roller Hair Shop story. Tell us more about the business.
Broken Roller Hair Shop is a little boutique hair studio that has a really warm, relaxed vibe. We play our favorite music at all times, whether it be from vinyl, cd’s or tapes! Above all, we want people to be comfortable. We both do cut and color. I have become known for being a curly hair specialist and I really love working with curls no matter how tight or loose, thick or thin. But I cut all kinds of hair, and I do every kind of color!

As does Chris, but he has become very known for his sharp men’s cuts. We both give color and cuts that are very easy and wearable. We are most proud of creating a beautiful and comfortable environment that hopefully encourages our guests to be totally themselves while visiting and love the hairstyles they leave with. There is no pretense at Broken Roller. And we even just started the Broken Roller library and book exchange because so many clients, as well as us, are such avid readers.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I am a believer in the universe and the fact that you create your own luck. I believe in karma. And I believe you have to know yourself and trust that things shall unfold as they should. Now, I also believe that there are definitely glitches in every system. Chris and I feel lucky and fortunate every single day and have to pinch ourselves. But I also know that every decision we’ve ever made led us to where we are today.

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